Newsbusters reports that 42 percent of the shareholders of the New York Times have refused to vote on the small numbers of directors who are subject to the shareholder voting process. Last year abstainers represented only 28 percent of the total. Morgan Stanley, which led the charge against the ruling Sulzberger family, declared the vote “a clear mandate for meaningful change.”
The desire among shareholders for change is understandable. Shares of New York Times have fallen 48 percent in three years. Net income fell 3 percent in 2004 and 13 percent in 2005, and the company posted a $543 million loss in 2006. In the first quarter of 2007, profit dropped 32 percent.
It seems clear, however, that the Sulzberger family remains intent on staying its course, which consists of converting what was once called “the newspaper of record” to the functional equivalent of a broad sheet for the American left.
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